Monday, October 08, 2012

Motorola confirms that Webtop is dead

Motorola's Webtop platform, which we tested and liked - but thought was overpriced - has been killed, the company confirmed on Friday. Starting with the Atrix in early 2011, Webtop allowed users to plug a Motorola phone into a laptop-like docking station and use it like ... well, a laptop.

At the heart of the issues with Webtop was the all-important price. When the Atrix was introduced in early 2011, the dock cost $499 stand-alone. That meant that the dock and the phone (which was priced at $199), cost more than some Windows laptops.  The dock was also only useable with one device.

We were aware that many Motorola employees were using Webtop docks as replacements for laptops, but that was at the beginning. Webtop even included a version of Firefox which was capable of using extensions, making it a favorite for some. While excitement was there at first, it seemed to dim quickly.

Motorola, now a unit of Google, said on Friday that adoption wasn't strong enough to justify devoting more resources to the project, and with Google cutting costs in the Motorola division, Webtop will no longer appear on the company's phones, beginning with the Photon Q, Droid RAZR M, Droid RAZR HD, and Droid RAZR Maxx HD.

Motorola added that as Android began to include more desktop-like functionality, Webtop would increasingly be redundant anyway.

Motorola's statement is below.

"Motorola's Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. While consumers around the world have adopted Webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices. We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features.

"Beginning with Photon Q and Droid RAZR M / Droid RAZR HD / Droid RAZR Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward."

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